Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Beguiled and Bedazzled - Julia's Dazzle 2012

What can I say that I haven't already said about Dazzle? No worries here, I will find more to say about this pretty pink wine. See my past posts:

Once again, Dazzle has proven itself to be one of the top rosés in Washington State. And not only is it delicious, but the packaging is quite delicious, as well.  

This vintage, with a slight name change - "Julia's Dazzle," is once again a special project of Allen Shoup, CEO and founder of Long Shadows Winery and Long Shadow's managing winemaker, Gilles Nicault.   Gilles' talent and his time spent making wine in Provence, the world leader in Rosé, gave him the skills to craft this unique Rosé.

The wine is named after Allen's granddaughter, Julia. And as a reminder, you won't find Julia's Dazzle at Long Shadows or on their mailing list as it is an independent project, and is produced to be sold only at restaurants and wine shops - - and it is going fast. 

As the last two vintages, the packaging is stunning with it's clear glass bowling pin shaped bottle and the gold silk screen label. The fruit is still the same as last vintage, with 98% Pinot Gris and 2% Sangiovese sourced from The Benches (formerly Wallula Vineyards), a vineyard that Long Shadows acquired. It's a dramatic vineyard that overlooks the Columbia River from the Washington side, three miles south of the Wallula Gap.

Pinot Gris, a grayish pink grape which is classified as "white," was lightly macerated and fermented like a red wine on its skins, giving the wine it's sole source of color as in traditional Provence rosés. Gilles added the skoosh of Sangiovese to add more fruitiness and to tinge the wine a lovely pink color. The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the clarified juice was fermented at cool temperatures to retain its intensely vibrant aromatics and flavors.

The release for  Julia's Dazzle - 2012 was the weekend of this last Easter, so of course a bottle for Easter dinner was most fitting, along with a bottle of Juliette's Dazzle - 2011, that I could not believe I still had tucked way in the wine cooler. 

We tasted both vintages side by side and both vintages had hints of ripe strawberries and rhubarb on the nose. Both were easy sippers, especially chilled. I noted both wines left a mouth full of juicy ruby red grapefruit and red berries, but the 2011 ended with a slight caramel finish, while the 2012 had a long finish that was a bit off-dry, but still crisp and bright. There were definitely more acids on the 2012 like when I first tasted the 2011 a year ago.  The 2012 was fruity and tart and an easy sipper and perfectly paired with our meal of creamy deviled eggs, ham, asparagus, and gourmet macaroni and cheese (four different cheeses including Bleu).

So what more can I say? Well, for one thing recycle the bottle. It makes for a perfect vase or a chilled drinking water container for a casual dinner party or BBQ. In the mean time, run, don't walk to get dazzled.

1 comment:

GAYLE said...

The WWW had it last week and were dazzled, too. Totally agree that it's better chilled- you described it perfectly. Hope to see you on the 8th! ~ Gayle